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Something to boast about

Stone County Enterprise of Wiggins, Mississippi

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Many have argued that Christian churches have driven people away by harping on morality. I think they are right. Many of those same people would reason that churches ought to simply became less judgmental and more accepting. Once again, I must agree. I doubt, however, that most of these would be in agreement with me regarding the proper path.

It seems to me that churches in the U.S. have lost at least two generations of people because a wrong approach to teaching the Bible. We have chosen two extremes. Often, we have taught the commands of God without connecting those commands to the character and nature of God. We might have some short-term success in changing people's behavior with that method.

However, changing behavior should never have been the goal. Changing the heart through an encounter with the living God is the goal. On the other hand, many have thought that they found a solution to the problem by simply backing away from the commands of God. That is a recipe for disaster. Many cease to mention the clear commands of Scripture. Others simply stop making personal application to themselves and others. The only real solution to this problem is found in cultivating a real and personal relationship with God. We must come to know Him.

Once we truly know God, we will begin to obey His commands and continue therein. If we come to see God as Truth, we will become honest. If we come to see God as Holy, we will strive to by pure and holy as well. If we get a good understanding of the love of God, we will strive to please Him. If we come to grips with the Transcendence of God, we will live in fear and awe of Him. If we come to understand the Immanence of God, we will be amazed at His nearness to us and crave fellowship with Him. If we truly see God's majesty, we will worship Him. Significantly, we will not fall away in these things.

If people are going to get a real taste of authentic Christianity, it will come only when we focus on the majestic character and nature of Almighty God. Jeremiah 9:23-24 is instructive, Thus says the Lord, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises loving kindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things," declares the Lord. (NASU) People lose their faith and walk away from the church when the church does not serve up a consistent and healthy helping of the character and nature of God. People need a healthy perspective of the great gulf that separates them from God. Pewsitters can hear the same admonitions to obey the same commands hundreds of times without being affected in any way. Those same pewsitters cannot come face to face with the Living God who spoke all of Creation into existence and loves them more than they love themselves without being changed. Verse 24 is clear. Understanding and knowing God is something to boast about.

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Original Publication Date: September 23, 2015

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